A-Level English Language- Terminology Pt.2


Now we’ve covered word classes, we're now going to tackle SENTENCES! Oh, I can just feel your joy right through the computer screen! Don't worry, I was exactly the same but please make sure you've nailed word classes before moving onto sentences as these are a little more complicated! 

Part Two: Sentences

To get us going, we're going to kick off with the parts of a sentence.

a) Verb phrases.

All sentences have to have a verb in them. This is the action that takes place in a sentence. The verb phrase can be dynamic as in:

Rooney 'transferred' to Manchester United. 

'Transferred' is the dynamic verb phrase because the action, or the movement, Rooney has taken is transferring to Manchester United.

Or it can be stated as in:

I 'am' a tree.

'Am' is the stative verb phrase as her state is currently being a tree.

The verb phrase in a sentence can be made up of one word.

Some verbs, calleed 'phrasal  verbs' consist of more than one word. These are verbs like 'sit down', 'get along' or 'back down'. Some verb phrases are made up of a full verb and one or more auxillary verb such as 'have', 'might' or 'should'.

Tony and George 'get along' very well.         He 'should have worn' more sun cream. 

b) The subject. 

Almost all sentences have to have a subject. The subject of the sentence is whoever is doing the action in a sentence. 

e.g ' The woman' went for a walk.

THe subject phrase usualy contains a noun (called the head noun) and can contain determiners (like 'the' or 'that' and one or more adjectives.

THE (determiner) SMALL (adjective) , YELLOW (adjective) ANGRY (adjective) SPONGE (head noun) IS CALLED BOB.

Some subject phrases do not contain a noun but use a pronoun instead.

c) Objects, adverbials and complements.

i. Object

Objects are thing in a sentence that are done to or acted upon by the subject, for example;

the woman caught a 'fish' - fish is the object done on by the woman, who


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